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Jersey Ralph
11-26-2000, 01:11 PM
A Jersey Family's Journey - Day Four

We start the day with breakfast from the food court, via Daddy Delivery Service! Corn muffins, excellent cheese danish and a chocolate covered donut. Our plan for the day is to head for the Grand Floridian Hotel so DD can have a Grand Adventure in Cooking! After that, a swim at the pool and then to Epcot for a PS at Germany’s Octoberfest buffet. We are to be at the Grand Floridian Hotel by 9:45 AM. Again, we make the short walk to the west depot and pick a bus to the Magic Kingdom. At the depot we meet a very engaging family from Canada, and spend sometime comparing Disney notes. Once at the Magic Kingdom we walk over to the boat launch and, after the short wait, we board one of those cute little boats. Our captain confirms that we are going to the Grand Floridian. His boats use to go to the Poly, however construction of the Volcano (?) has caused some reconfiguration of the docks and his boat cannot dock there. Poly guests are being shuttled, if they wish to do so by boat, by a small pontoon boat. With the exception of one other person, we have the boat to ourselves, since most people are coming into the Magic Kingdom, not the opposite direction. We soon find out that the other person is the young lady who is in charge of children’s programming at the Grand Floridian. When we dock, DD and her skip off, hand in hand, ahead of us. Now that’s the thing about Disney. Would you let a perfect stranger you meet on a boat, or bus or train, take your daughter by the hand and skip away? Mind you, we never did let them get out of our sight!

We are early, and our new CM friend has to excuse herself. She has real work do to! The Grand Floridian is a stunning complex. We grab some coffee and wait outside. Soon we are called into the Mouseketeer Club and confirm her registration. Grand Adventures in Cooking is a program that DW found out about while cruising the DIS (Thanks again gang!) For about $23 your child will spend two hours with the Mouseketeer CM’s decorating chef hats and aprons, listening to stories, then creating apple tarts to give out in the lobby of the hotel. With DD safety entrusted to the Mouseketeer CM’s, DW and I walk over to the Café and have a long, leisurely, sit down breakfast. The food is very, very good, and a little on the pricey side, but not obscene. Afterwards we wander around the main lobby of the hotel and marvel at its size, scope and theme. We meet our mini-chefs in the small lobby in front of the café. They are all in chef hats and aprons, and Chef Drew is pushing a cart filled with apple tarts. Our little chefs begin to hand out tarts to anyone in sight. It is interesting to see the reaction of some people. While one person is delighted, another is totally dismissive. However, we notice a significant increase in staff, both in the café lobby and the main lobby! They know the drill, plus, the apple tarts are pretty good. I get some great pictures.

We say our goodbyes to the staff and CM’s and head for the boat launch. We consider popping into the Magic Kingdom, but pass for a swim back at DXL. Back in the room we change, and head off to the main pool at Ol’ Man Island. The pool is not very crowded and we pick some seats by the slide. DD and I have fun on the slide, and DW enjoys a swim. Before we know it a couple of hours have gone by. We have a quick nap, then change and walk to the west depot. DD is having a hard time, and when we get on the bus, she leans about against her Mom, and begins to drift off to sleep. Warning! Warning Will Robinson! I can see a disaster waiting to happen. It’s a long walk from the Epcot bus depot to the park entrance, then another long walk to the boat launch to Germany. By the time we get to our PS at Germany DD will be fried. A quick consort with DW, and we tell DD that we are going back to the hotel. Now she struggles with this decision, partly because she wants to go to Epcot, and partly because she does not want to disappoint Mom and Dad. She knows that the buffet at Germany is one of our favorites, especially Dad. I get to drink one of those great big steins ( <IMG SRC="/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif" alt="confused"> 64 oz.?) of Becks Dark Beer and eat all sorts of sausages, wieners and other equally cholesterol laden meats. We reassure her and ourselves. There is no sense in pushing ourselves to the brink of collapse. We stay on the bus and head back to the room. But what to do? Dinner at Boatwrights of course? We have a very pleasant meal and it was moderately priced. (Note from Jersey Ralph’s wife-who is proofreading his work. Our check was $92.00. It was the most expensive meal of our entire trip. The food was good. The atmosphere was good. The service good, but a bit too quick. This is the end of DW’s interference in this trip report!) (Editor’s Note: See DW, I left that comment in!) They bring your silverware, napkins, salt and pepper to your table in a small wooden toolbox. A large boat, under construction, hangs from the ceiling. After dinner we are feeling a bit more energetic. We walk over the boat launch and take a cruise down the Sassagoula river toward Downtown Disney. What a great trip, the boat captain is a hoot. He uses the PA system to shout to people on the shore “Are you having a good time?” and “May the Mouse be with you!” The boat ride was perfect, a nice relaxing ride in the cool Florida night air. When we rounded the corner toward Downtown Disney five hot air balloons were moored along the bank. When they fired their burners the balloons lit up and their bright colors glowed. Everyone on the boat went ohhh and ahh, even the captain. It was kind of funny to us. We live in part of New Jersey where hot air balloons are very commonplace. Almost every weekend, from spring to fall, at least two or three pass over the house.

The return trip was equally nice, and we got a good look at the villa’s at the Disney Institute. Our captain said they look like the Ewok village from star wars! Here is my tip for this posting: if you stay at DXL consider using the boats to Downtown Disney rather then the bus. They depart every twenty minutes from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and afterwards depart every thirty minutes until 11:30 PM. Back at DXL we take a quite walk to our room, and bed down for the night. Most definitely our most laid back day. We truly needed it!

:) Third Day Positives:
Grand Adventures in Cooking, worth the cost; Late breakfast at the café in the Grand Floridian, the main pool at DXL, our boat captain to Downtown Disney, and our common sense and ability to change our plans when we knew we have reached our limits.

:( Third Day Negatives:
Being too tired to go to Epcot, but what the heck, we are here for five more days!

:D Next – Day Four: Blizzard Beach, the Big Drop, Crystal Palace & That Great Main Street Electric Parade!

snuggles
11-26-2000, 02:49 PM
The kids cooking class sounds like fun. Its a shame my girls are too old for that! Thanks for sharing about it. I'm sure that there are lots of people who wonder about it.

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Marla Hellwig
01-12-2001, 08:27 PM
A fun relaxing day. Thanks for posting!